Inaugural Mitchell Endowed Lectureship in Jewish Music- 2/5/13

“Jewish and Christian Psalmody: A Comparison” will be the topic of the first in a series of lectures at Webster University made possible by the Mitchell Endowed Lectureship in Jewish Music. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, in the Thompson Music Building, 8282 Big Bend Blvd. in Webster Groves. Featured speakers include Cantor Seth Warner of Congregation Shaare Emeth and Dr. Robert W. Lehman, Choirmaster/Organist at The Church of St. Michael and St. George.

"We are delighted to present this first event in a new lectureship series,” said Dr. Jeffrey R. Carter, chair, Webster University Department of Music. “Our plan is to vary the topics widely, with this year being a more ‘academic' discussion, while next year will be on a more popular topic, such as Jewish composer in Tin Pan Alley. No matter the topic, the Mitchell gift helps us add valuable extras to the fine classroom and performance training we are providing our talented music students.”

The Mitchell Endowed Lectureship in Jewish Music is named in honor of Webster alumna Virginia May Mitchell-'53. “When I though of making a donation my thoughts turned to the music department and donations made in honor of Felicia Corrigan, SL,” Mitchell said. “I realized the influence her sociology classes made in my life, broadening my understanding and empathy for others. A few years ago I was saying goodbye to my host during a nice party when I heard a voice quite loudly say to a group that Christians shouldn't sing Jewish songs. To me such poisonous hate could lead to the murder of thousands, millions.”

Mitchell says her endowed lectureship gift is dedicated to the hope that knowledge and love can overcome hate and renew understanding. To be held annually, the lectures will attract lecturers, performers, historians and other experts possessing unique knowledge of the music, musical traditions and musical history of Jewish culture.